View Full Version : Worst Ride Ever

09-08-2005, 10:41 AM
As some of you heard I was in a crash a few weeks ago....things are fine (pinky is still sore so excuse any typos or lack of caps...she sometimes does not want to hit the shift key) I hear the more injured are doing well and will be back riding soon

anyway...i got right back on and rode the next day in a group but i was dropped by the main group and ended up riding with another gal for the rest of the distance. then for the next couple of weeks my fiancee and i were traveling...we did a metric and a full century in PA & DE. very pretty country so i opted to enjoy my surroundings and not draft (it takes too much concentration to draft...i wanted to view the countryside) at the full century my "beloved" had a few words to say about my lack of cooperation but i just blew it off and pedaled on oblivious that there was a problem...

WELL...tuesday night in a typical group ride i have done numerous times before and managed to stay towards the front (even do my share of pulling)...i had not one, not two, but a constant series of panic attacks!!!! (mild, cause i was able to keep pedaling, but bad enough!) did i mention this was the same group i was involved with the crash?
As we drove in the parking lot i told my fiancee (chris) i felt nauseous (not realizing what was wrong...just thought it was a bad PB&J) the ride began...the knot in my throat is now growing and my breathing is hampered!!! chris kept saying "get on his wheel or we are going to get dropped!!!" so i did and hyperventilation started...i backed off caught my breath and told chris i have never been this nervous in my life!!!! he then realized what was going on...we layed back for a bit but the group was picking up speed and he wanted me to get through this so we pedaled on and once again i got on someones wheel and hyperventilated again...chris came up beside me and calmly bellowed out orders: "keep your elbows bent, breath, watch your cadence, watch ahead, breath, stay on his wheel, relax, get back on his wheel, i am not mad, bend your elbows, i love you, pedal, you are doing great, if you don't get back on his wheel we are turning around, relax, come on...you can get through this....etc!!!!" meanwhile i am trying sooo hard to keep my breathing in tact while blubbering like an absolute moron!!!! Just as i started to get my composure and relax...BOOM!!!! another wreck...in front of ME!!! i vered left (which in hindsite was a bad idea - we were on a road side....i could have been hit by a car if they were not paying attention :( ) i wasn't but it is in the back of my mind now!!!
Everyone was ok and off we went to finish the ride...still shaking and working through my fear i kept pedaling...a sprint came up so i dropped off the back until someone gave me his wheel to pull me back to the group (chris thought if he left me alone i might do better...yes and no) i stayed with the group for the most part but still not my usual self.
Needless to say i finished (lagging behind a bit on the bike and alot in spirit!) I still want to get back on the saddle and ride with groups...i just know it will take some time and i will be fine! I did get back on the dirt last night and WOOOOHOOOOOed my way throught the trees....i did miss a few of my favorite jumps and drops cause i really need to be babying my ankle...but when it heals gals...look out :eek: :eek: :eek: Asheville...here i come!!!!

Pedal Wench
09-08-2005, 11:02 AM
You should be so proud to be back on the bike, back in group rides, and particularly, back in the same group with you were with when you crashed! Be strong!

09-08-2005, 12:14 PM
I agree... be proud you're back out there... with time I would guess you'll work your way thru the panic attacks...

sounds like Chris is a good man, to indicate that he was coaching but not angry... and to give you positive reinforcement to help you get thru it...

09-08-2005, 12:24 PM
glad to hear you're back pack riding bouncy - even with the panic attacks.

Don't now if this applies any or not but I noticed (in the past when I could eat like this! :o ) when my caffeine and/or sugar intake was up, I would get panic attacks and they could be bad ones. Just wondering if in addition to dealing with overcoming crash fear - did you have any caffeine or sugar or more than usual that day? I'm racking my brain right now for some of the calming alternatives but I'm operating on meno-brain today so I'm drawing a blank but I'm betting someone else here can come up with something.

09-08-2005, 01:50 PM
Very, very brave and you did the right thing riding on. It's the only way to get over this. I'll bet Emily will have some encouragement for you, too. When I get this way it makes me feel so bewildered - my head is telling me it's okay, you can do this and my body is doing whatever it wants (panic, panic, panic!!!)

09-09-2005, 08:02 AM
Very, very brave and you did the right thing riding on. It's the only way to get over this. I'll bet Emily will have some encouragement for you, too. When I get this way it makes me feel so bewildered - my head is telling me it's okay, you can do this and my body is doing whatever it wants (panic, panic, panic!!!)

Yeah, BB, I'm working through some of this myself as I get back to riding. I did the hyperventilation thing on my first ride after my accident, but since then I've been mostly okay...occasionally a bit of fear will well up, particularly if someone in front of me on a group ride starts slowing or stopping without announcing it and I have to brake; it reminds me too much of slamming into my DH's bike that fateful day.

I think it's really natural for fears to crop up after an accident, but time will help, and the more you ride without another accident, the more your confidence will improve. I even rode by myself on Monday - just a little 18 mile round tripper down roads I'd never encountered any dogs on - but it was a big step as I wasn't sure if I'd ever do that again. And this week on a women's ride I do on Wednesday nights, two dogs came out on the road, which never happens on this route, but I was going slowly both times (near stop signs), assessed the situation, decided they were of the harmless ("just looking") variety and did not panic, somehow!

Good luck to you and hope the panic attacks will not last for long. If you have to ride without drafting/pacelining for awhile to deal with them, then so be it - don't feel pressured to do anything that's uncomfortable for you. Proceed at your own pace, and remember to BREATHE, long and deep, as you ride - stomach breathing. It will help you relax and stay in the moment.

Good luck!

09-09-2005, 10:16 AM
{{{{{{EM}}}}}}}}} I'm so happy to hear about your progress! I know how hard that must've been to have those dogs come out but you held it together and worked through it.

Keep it up both of you - you two have many more years of riding!!!

09-09-2005, 10:31 AM
I have read a ton of threads of encouragement and am always inspired by the go-get-um girls that are racing/tackling hills/overcoming challengess...well this is my current challenge...nothing can stop me from getting back out there!

Emily, just like you had the TE girls along with you on your first ride after the cr*&%...I too am motivated by the girls here!

CM, I have been high with the sugar/caffeine intake lately...I will keep that in mind! I have a few more months til settled in a new location :D and my diet and training for "whatever" will improve! I am lowering the sugar but as for caffeine...IT IS A VITAMIN!!!! I am convinced :p

Thanks again...
bouncy*Riding On*bouncy